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Diamonds, Banks & Beer

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All this week we are taking our webcams around the world, visiting places that we otherwise couldn't easily reach. On Wednesday we check in with South Africa.

Originally founded as a gold town, Johannesburg is still minting money - with mining accounting for the majority of South Africa’s stock market.

But the world’s fourth largest gold producer no longer relies solely on its natural resources. The country’s economy is thriving, with a burgeoning manufacturing and finance industries that’s helped to push the nation's stock market up more than 20% this year.

But you can't talk South Africa, without talking beer. It's home to SABMiller, the world's third-biggest brewer which acquired the American powerhouse Miller eight years ago and has more than doubled in value since.

How can you put your money behind South Africa's diamonds, banks and beers? We asked Dawie Roodt Executive Chairman and Chief Economist at Efficient Group which is located in South Africa.

Is South Africa essentially a global growth story?

That used to be the case, saysRoodt. But South Africa today is much more. About a year and a half ago Britain’s Barclay’s bank bought one of our biggest banks. Also I’m seeing investment in our retailers. We’re not just a mining country anymore.

What’s your driving force?

The driving force in the economy is exceptional demand. It comes from within. We’ve got an explosion in construction.

How safe is South Africa?

Safety is one of our most serious problems. Crime and AIDS are the two most serious issues. But we are doing what we can, and we know we have to get it under control quickly, because the 2010 World Cup will be held here.

Dylan Ratigan asks the panel if iShares MSCI South Africa Index (EZA) is worth a look?

The traders agree that it’s worth investigating, but seem to suggest there are other investments that they’d prefer over this one.


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Trader disclosure: On Aug 22 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money; Najarian Owns (BMY), Najarian Owns S&P Puts: Stacey Briere Gilbert Is Chief Options Strategist For Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP: Gilbert Is Head Of Market Intelligence Research For Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP: Gilbert Does Not Cover Individual Securities But Does Recommend Trading Strategies; Gilbert Has A Long Position In (HOT); Susquehanna Financial Group Is A Market Maker In (AMTD), (AAPL), (BCSI), (ETFC), (FWLT), (GYMB), (IRBT), (JBLU), (NTES), (NTAP), (UAUA), (WYNN) (ZUMZ), (CTSH) Susquehanna Financial Group And/Or Affiliates Together Own More Than 1% Of (BCSI), (BSC), (CAL), (LCC), (NMX), (NYX), (NTES), (UAUA), (IMB), (GT); Susquehanna Financial Group And/Or Affiliates Together Owned More Than 1% Of (FCX) On 8/20/07